National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)-Notes

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is a government Statutory body of India. This body is responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights for the people of the country.

National Human Rights Commission NHRC (GK+Notes+PDF): India is a democratic country. The basic principle of democracy is the complete development of the people. According to Abraham Lincoln, democracy is the key to the development of the people of a country. Human rights must be maintained if this development is to take place. This is why the UN has taken an oath to protect human rights. Similarly, organizations have been formed in several nations around the world to fight for the protection of human rights. The National Human Rights Commission of India was established on 12th Oct 1993 with the goal of promoting human rights to their greatest potential.

Established12 Oct 1993
HeadquartersNew Delhi
First Chairperson:Ranganath Misra
Jurisdiction:Government of India
Current ChairpersonJustice Arun Kumar Mishra
Website: https://nhrc.nic.in

Brief History of National Human Rights Commission

The National Human Rights Commission was constituted under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. The Indian Parliament has enacted this law. The State Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Court are constituted under the Protection of Human Rights Act. In 1895, the Indian National Congress first drafted an outline on human rights. The Declaration of Human Rights became a reality through the Nehru Report of 1928. The report was raised in the British Parliament in 1918.

The Indian Constitution incorporated the Declaration of Human Rights of the League of Nations into it in 1948. It was formed on 12 October 1993 as an autonomous Statutory government body under the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993. The Parliament introduced the Protection of Human Rights Bill on 3rd December 1993 to form the National Human Rights Commission as a statutory body.

Members and their appointment of NHRC

  • The National Human Rights Commission consists of 7 members, including the Chairperson. So the total number of member of NHRC is 8 (Out of these, three members are ex-officio and 5 are full-time).
  • The President of India appoints the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission who is Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • The Secretary-General of the National Human Rights Commission serves as an administrative officer. He was appointed among the officers at the secretary level.
  • There is a Director General to assist with the Commission’s efficiency and impartiality.
  • To appoints the chairman of the commission, the President has to abide by the recommendations of a committee headed by the Prime Minister.

The original structure of NHRC

  • President (Retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court)
  • Members (from serving or retired judges of the Supreme Court)
  • Members (from High Court serving or retired judges)
  • 2 members with experience in human rights

Also, three ex-officio members are included

  • The Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities
  • Chairman of the Commission of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
  • Chairman of National Commission for Women
The headquarters of National Human Rights Commission is situated in New Delhi. 

The first Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission was Ranganath Mishra.

Composition of NHRC

The members of this committee are the

  1. The Prime Minister (Chairperson)
  2. Speaker of the Lok Sabha
  3. Home Minister,
  4. Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha,
  5. Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha,
  6. Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

The Chairperson and members of the Commission may be appointed for a term of 5 years or up to the age of 70 years.

Members of the Commission may be re-elected at most once. The Chairperson may convene a meeting of the National Human Rights Commission. The Secretary-General published the policy guidelines of the Commission. The Central Government determines the salaries, allowances, and other conditions of service of the Chairperson and members of the Commission.

The President may remove the members of the commission on the advice of the Supreme Court (misconduct, corrupt practices, or on the basis of inability).

Objectives and functions of NHRC.

The basic and most important Objectives and functions of NHRC are discussed below.

  1. To file a complaint about human rights violations for investigation and trial.
  2. The Commission may participate as a part in any case related to human rights violations.
  3. Constitutionally recognized rights, to protect the rights of international treaties.
  4. As a statutory, independent, and autonomous body, it has to take the responsibility for remedial action, peace, compensation, etc.
  5. To make awareness of rights, development, encouragement of voluntary and social organizations.
  6. The Commission may take appropriate action against any government, government official, or employee responsible for human rights violations.
  7. Encouraging research work on meditation and human rights among the people.

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December.

Other common functions of NHRC are:

  • The Commission enjoys the powers and status of a civil court.
  • The action taken on the basis of the recommendation of the commission is to be informed to the commission within 1 month.
  • The Commission has the power to punish human rights violators or to provide economic redress to victims.
  • Complaints must be filed within one year from the day or date of the human rights violation.
  • All the activities of the Commission are lawful, and therefore it may also recommend a departmental inquiry into human rights violations by the military.
  • The human rights Commission plays an important role in both public and private sectors on issues related to victims, abuse of power, assistance to victims, refugee rehabilitation, health services, caste or the mentally and disabled, etc.
  • Currently, the National Human Rights Commission has a special role to play in the human rights of child laborers, prostitution workers, and AIDS sufferers.
  • The National Human Rights Commission has played a special role in communal violence and riots, maternity issues, child prostitution, abuse of police power, and the formation of human rights cells in important government departments.
  • Recently, discussions on human rights have been included in school, college and university level curricula.

Criticism of National Human Rights Commission

The National Human Rights Commission set up to protect the human rights of Indian citizens has undoubtedly played a positive role. But despite this, some criticism remains. E.g.

  1. Due to additional allegations, the Commission does not have the opportunity to see and try every complaint. As a result, the people are reacting negatively to the commission.
  2. The state needs the cooperation of the National Human Rights Commission to redress the grievances. But many times it is seen that not all the state governments are helping or cooperating with the National Human Rights Commission properly or efficiently.
  3. The Commission may inquire into any complaint and collect information and recommend to the authorities to take action against human rights violators. But the commission itself cannot impose any punishment. In this case, the power of the commission has become somewhat limited.

Evaluation of NHRC

Despite these minor limitations, the importance of the National Human Rights Commission in India can never be denied. In India, a country of 130 crore people, the human rights of the people are constantly being violated somewhere. The role that the National Human Rights Commission has been playing at the highest level in protecting these human rights is undoubtedly commendable. Various voluntary organizations are working for the protection of human rights under the National Human Rights Commission.

However, the organization of the Human Rights Commission needs to be strengthened. As well as increasing the number of its members and the number of centers. So that Indian citizens can easily reach the court of the National Human Rights Commission with a demand to protect their rights.



Important general knowledge of the National Human Rights Council is provided here as points for upcoming competitive examinations like UPSC, IAS, and others

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About Author: SAM

Hi, I am SAM, State Added (WB) Lecturer in Physics at a College by profession, Part-time blogger by passion, and founder of gkanswer.in. Love to design websites, started blogging in 2013 and still learning.